Archive for July, 2008

Ploughshares Retrieve $7 U.S. Million Hammer from Shannon Gardai in Ireland!

July 31, 2008
* Photos of retrieved ploughshares hammers, youtube, skype interviews, radio interviews more background on the $U.S. 7 million ploughshares hammer and info on Harry Browne’s forthcoming book “Hammered by the Irish – How the Pitstop Ploughshares Disabled a U.S. Navy Plane with Ireland’s Blessing” ( ) on the Pitstops on


A collection of hammers and other objects that were used to disable a US Navy plane in 2003 were turned over by Shannon gardai to one of the activists who carried out the action.

Veteran anti-war resister Ciaron O’Reilly held a press conference outside Shannon Airport Wednesday July 24th., following the return of hammers used to disable a U.S. Navy war plane at the airport in Feb 03. He brought the hammers and other returned property to the press conference.

O’Reilly was one of the Pitstop Ploughshares group, who along with Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon and Damien Moran were charged with $US 2.5 million criminal damage to a U.S. Navy war plane at Shannon in the build up to the invasion of Iraq. The group were intially imprisoned on remand in Limerick before being put on trial three times at Dublin’s Four Courts. They were eventually acquitted unanimously by a jury at the Four Courts in August 2006. The groups action is the subject of Dublin journalist’s Harry Browne’s forthcoming book “Hammered by the Irish – How the Pitstop Plougshares Disarmed a U.S. War Plane with Ireland’s Blessing!”.



“Catholic Workers in their Largest Gathering in Recent Times!”

July 21, 2008

Catholic Workers are presently gathering in Worcester, Mass. , USA. The event is being organised by the Mustard Seed community in Worcester. Founding community member, longtime CW, Scott Schaeffer Duffy was in Dublin for the first Pitstop Ploughshares trial in 05. Scott, his family and community are longtime resisters at Raytheon whose headquarters are nearby.

I encourage you to explore this site for photos, speeches (MP3’s) of the 75th. anniversary CW gathering (Worcester, Mass, USA) photos, speechs (MP3’s) etc:

In anyone’s terms, the Catholic Worker is an amazing phenomenon. Many predicted its collapse following the death of it’s founder Dorothy Day in 1980. Instead the movement has grown to 150 communities in the U.S. a dozen in Canada, 3 in OZ/NZ, 8 in Europe and 3 in Mexico see community directory on http://www.catholicworker. org Given it’s decentralised autonomous nature and tolerance for participation by folks who may not be Catholic, anarchist or pacifist the movement has continued with a remarkable coherency of belief and praxis.

The movement was founded by American activist Dorothy Day and French philosopher/ Union Square soap box speaker Peter Maurin in 1933 on the lower east side of New York during the Depression. The Catholic Worker came out as pacifist in WW2 splitting the movement. Scores of young Catholic Worker men were interned as C.O.’s. Catholic Workers were the first to burn their draft cards publicly in the early stages of the Vietnam War. Such Catholic Workers like Tom Cornell speaking at this conference, were sent to jail for 2-3 years. As the Vietnam War escalated the Catholic Worker provided many of the draft board raiders to the nonviolent direct action movement inspired by the priest resister Berrigan brothers. Since the 1980’s Catholic Workers provided many of the activist for the Berrigan inspired plowshares actions

The Catholic Worker is most well known in the U.S. for its practise of the “acts of mercy” – its soup kitchens, aids hospices, hospitality houses for the homeless and prisoners families, visitation of prisoners and death row inmates etc. The Catholic Worker refuses all state funding – getting by on donations and freegan dumpster diving.

The Catholic Worker has has been a significant landmark in the American anarchist and anti-war movements over the decades. It has been celebrated by variety of Americans – Noam Chomsky, Abbie Hoffman, Martin Sheen, Martin Scorcese, John & Joan Cusack, Michael Harrington, Bishop Gumbleton, Utah Philips etc. Obama likes to quote Dorothy Day which could be a bit of a worry. In the early stages of the Bush presidency, George quoted Dorothy Day at a speech at Notre Dame and was quickly slammed by her daughter Tamar and grandkids. Catholic Workers fear being mainstreamed and the nomination of Dorothy Day (who when alive said “Don’t call me a saint, I don;t want to be dismissed that easily!”) for canonisation has been opposed by many in the movement.

The Catholic Worker has been celebrated in film “Entertaining Angels” starring Martin Sheen, stage recently released “Fool for Christ”, song Utah Philips/ Ani DiFranco “Anarchy”. A recent episode of the TV hit “Wire” was filmed at the Baltimore CW soup kitchen using CW’s as actors. There has been much academic work and movement literature published on the Catholic Worker. The most recent work by Sharon Nepstead on the plowshares actions and Robert Elsberg recent editing of Dorothy Days diaries.

Catholic Worker in Australia
Although preceded by a Catholic Worker paper in Melbourne in the ’30’s, a hospitality/anti-war resistance house in Melbourne and farm at Gladysdale in the ’60’s (both which Dorothy Day visited) – the Catholic Worker has a continued presence coming out of Brisbane since 1982. Brisbane membership were fashioned in  resistance under the authoritarian government of Joh Bjeleke Petersen, with anarchist pacifist politics they opened a hospitality house for homeless aboriginal youth & released prisoners. They played a significant role in resisting Joh, closing Boggo Rd Jail, resisting war preparations, military training at Cunungara of Indonesian troops killing in East Timor & West Papua etc etc.

Most recently resistance to Pine Gap Raytheon Brisbane, Enoggera Base where Oz troops leave for Iraq & Afghanistan and working an organic farm at Daybora. Members were also imprisoned in the United Sates, Aotearoa & Europe for anti-war resistance

Catholic Worker in Ireland
The Catholic Worker arrived in Ireland in an organised fashion with the Pitstop Ploughshares resistance action at Shannon Airport in Feb 03.  Preceeding this there have been about a dozen people in Ireland who have spent time living and working at Catholic Workers in the U.S. – Caoimhe Butterly, Ciaron O’Reilly, Stephen Cummings, Petria Malone, Benny McCabe, Paul O’Connor etc. Thus far the Catholic Worker has failed to take root in Ireland – the jury is still out on why? – and today the Dublin CW is a loose collective that sustains the weekly at anti-war presents at the GPO and meets for prayer & reflection Given the large participation of Irish Americans in the Catholic Worker movement it was assumed that Ireland would be fertile ground, it hasn’t been!

Dublin based journalist Harry Browne addresses some of the reasons why in his forthcoming book “Hammered by the Irish” http://bushtelegrap h.wordpress. com/2008/ 06/13/hammered- …rish/
to be published in the U.S. by Counterpunch http://www.countepunch. org in the next few weeks and in his article http://thedublinrev twentyfive/ browne.html that appeared in the Dublin Review

Once again check out the speeches on this site

25 Minute Interview with Ciaron on Raytheon 9 and Bush Belfast Visit

July 8, 2008

This is a 25 minute interview I gave for Hungarian radio before departing to Belfast for the Bush visit. I reflect on the Raytheon 9 acquittal and the misuse of anti-terror laws to silence nonviolent anti-war dissent. Within 24 hours of giving this interview I was detained under the Terrorism Act twice.

Today’s Dublin Metro reports that £300,000 was spent on policing costs on Bush’s half day visit to Belfast.

Meanwhile back in the land of the free, President Bush was confronted on 4th. of July by anti-war dissent. The clips (2 mins) are kind of ironic as Bush responds that the U.S. of A believes in free speech, the crowd applauds and those citizens exercising are disappeared by the thought police….org/….html

Kathy Kelly Writing from Jordan on Raytheon 9 and Pitstop Ploughshares

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Dublin Screening of “Liyarn Nigarin” with Peter Postlewaite followed by gig with Archie Roach, Rubie Hunter, Bart Willoughby, Shane Howard, Steve Cooney, Mary Black & others

July 3, 2008

Well the film was excellent and from chatting to a bearded hip Peter Postlewaite his heart is definitely in it. He stumbled across the struggle of aboriginal Australia relatively recently while staging a one man play in Perth. Before going on stage one night, Postlewaite was approached by Scouser, Bill Johnson, who had been in the seminary in Liverpool with him way back when. Bill had since moved to Australia, married and adopted 3 children. The aboriginal lad adopted, Louis St John, was murdered in his late teens by 3 English racists recently arrived in Australia. When the cops asked why they chose the victim, the response was “Because he was black!”

Postlewaite takes this response personally as an Englishman, seeing it as an attitude that runs directly from the early pastoralists encounter of aborigines. He hooks up with a product of the Stolen Generation policy former street drinker now musician Archie Roach and former priest now Aboriginal activist Pat Dodson and takes us on a moving journey.

The film looks at Western Australian aboriginal deaths/killings in custody that the coroner continually writes off as “misadventure” and then an exploration of the stolen generation removal policy of aboriginal children to be integrated into white society. We travel to the victim’s original family and outback community. The film then broadens out to analyse recent Australian government policy ignited by the racist One Nation/Pauline Hanson populism and adopted and finetuned by the 11 year conservative Howard government rolling back the Mabo decision in the High Courts that for the first time in the courts recognised aboriginal occupation before British invasion.  The jury is still out on how much substance will go with the recent apology to the stolen generation by recently elected Labor Prime Minister Rudd.  The speech by former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating in the early ’90’s directly linking white gain to black loss is impressive.  The cringing, small mindedness arrogance of conservative PM howard also gets a good airing. See this fine film if you can!

The disappointment was the size of the audience (approx 25) for this free 4 pm Saturday screening. I only recognised one person from the Dublin activist scene and didn’t detect any young Australian backpacker types. (I saw a lot of them in the Outback Pub last night for the screening of the third State of Origin Rugby League telecast!) Not sure if this reflects on the passive racism of the young Aussie backpackers, disengagement of Irish activists who share a common history with the largest group of aboriginal artists to assemble in Dublin or poor promotion of the event.

The gig in the evening was excellent. Obviously a significant moment in the life of Australian muso Shane Howard (Goanna) and those indigineous Australians who had accompanied him to his spiritual homeland. Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter were brilliant making the connections between Irish and Aboriginal history…their songs were great. Mary Black, Steve Cooney and other Irish musicians were also wonderful.

Interview with Peter Postleaite on the film “Liyarn Ngarin” liran Nagarin

YOUTUBE -Archie Roach “Took the Chldren Away” & “Walking into Doors”

Archie Roach “Took the Children Away”…Roach

Archie Roach “Walking into Doors”…utube

Yestreday I had the privilege of meeting up with Uncle Bob Anderson an aboriginal elder from Brisbane and former active Trade Union organiser.  It was great to hear news of common friends and struggles and of radical history from Brisbane before my time. (Bob snafuued one of the riot batons being produced for the racially selected ’71 Springboks Tour a photo of which made it on to the front page of The Courier Mail exposing what was being prepared for the protesters.  I was only 11 when a State of Emergency was declared so a racist game of Rugby could take place. Bob gave me an aboriginal flag badge and I gave him a black shamrock

I hear Archie Roach will  be playing Musgrave Park/Brisbane in  mid-July during an aboriginal cultural event get there if you can!